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Fäviken [Hardcover]

Magnus Nilsson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 10 2012

"Magnus is one of the brightest chefs that I have ever met." – René Redzepi, NOMA

Faviken is the first major cookbook by Magnus Nilsson, the 28‐year old chef whose restaurant is located on a 20,000 acre farm and hunting estate in Northern Sweden. It has recently been called "the most daring restaurant in the world" by Bon Appétit. In Faviken, Nilsson writes about how he only cooks with ingredients that are raised, farmed and hunted in the immediate vicinity of his remote restaurant. The food served at Faviken – from the dairy to the meat to the vegetables – is harvested, butchered and preserved by hand using the most natural and primitive methods possible, and Nilsson is in factor of simple cooking methods such as roasting over open coals. This approach results in the highly creative food and intense flavors of which, far from seeming traditional, are remarkable.

Faviken features 100 recipes and 150 color photographs, featuring the finished dishes, unique local ingredients and beautiful landscapes of the farm. The book will inspire chefs and food‐lovers to think differently abut the ingredients that are available to them. Many of the basic recipes for yogurt, bread, vinegar, pickles and preserve are straightforward enough for anyone to attempt at home, and the advice on the natural preservation methods can be followed by anyone. The book also includes an introduction by food writer Bill Buford.

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"For those who can’t travel to the wilderness of Northern Sweden, this book is an excellent look into that region’s bounties and the brilliant vision of Magnus Nilsson. And, this is just the beginning." – David Chang, Momofuku

"Magnus is one of the brightest chefs that I have ever met – and this comes through so clearly when flicking through the pages of this book." – René Redzepi, NOMA

"Phaidon, lately, has led the way in quirky, uniquely designed, international cookbooks. The press raises the bar dramatically here with 100 recipes taken from Faviken Magasinet, a restaurant in a remote area of Sweden, some 375 miles north of Stockholm, that serves only 12 people a day, but is fast becoming a bastion of New Nordic Cuisine, thanks to head chef Nilsson." – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

"This collection of recipes and stories from Nilsson’s experimental, hyperlocal restaurant in west‐central Sweden is a beautiful reminder of what 'farm-to-table' really means. . . The impact of his creative vision is undeniable." – Bon Appétit

"Nilsson’s new book. . . is part treatise and part instruction manual. It also makes for some sublimely consciousness‐altering reading if you love to cook." – The Globe and Mail

"Just as the best travel books describe an internal and external journey, Faviken tells the story of a chef discovering his cuisine in the woods of Sweden. The sense of place is palpable and this is both an aspirational and inspirational ode to nature." – The Huffington Post

"An ode to a fantastical place and a type of cooking that has mostly disappeared from the Western world." – The Daily Beast

"Its heavy‐stock pages open a door into one of the hottest restaurants in the world right now." – Time Out New York

"Beautiful and enlightening. . . [Nilsson] has grown into a fine and even inspiring writer." – Jeffrey Steingarten, VOGUE

"I want to go there." – Fine Cooking

GQ Magazine’s Cookbook of the Year 2012

"The book contains dozens of recipes, as well as Nilsson's fascinating and incisive musing on food." – Departures

"Nilsson is routinely counted among the world's greatest chefs." – TIME Magazine

"At Faiken Magasinet, the food is cutting‐edge and hyper‐local. But the Swedish restaurant’s new cookbook is full of practical tips." – The Wall Street Journal

"The 28‐year old chef Magnus Nilsson contrasts the sweet simplicity of foraged and farm‐fresh ingredients with a kind of Viking bloodlust." – The New York Times

"The year’s most talked about restaurant‐based cookbook. . . a stunner." – Minneapolis Star‐Tribune

About the Author

Magnus Nilsson (b.1984) is the head chef of Faviken Magasinet restaurant in Sweden. After training as a chef and sommelier in Sweden he worked with Pascal Barbot of L’Astrance in Paris before joining Faviken as a sommelier. Within a year he had taken over the running of the restaurant. He is being featured on the upcoming season of "Mind of a Chef" on PBS, airing November 2014.

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic look into the food of Magnus Nilsson March 26 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
And very fine book. Really well made to. Not many items in the book that I would actually make, some of it is pretty out there and sourceing the ingredients is probably more trouble and expense than its worth. This book really shines in creative plating technique and is just inspiring. My five star rating is based on my finding this book to be really inspiring , I couldn't wait to get back to the kitchen. If your a home cook looking to reproduce most of the dishes in a book you buy you may want to consider something a little different.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great value Jan. 2 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A wonderful insight into a chefs life on a day to day basis, as well as a very natural approach to what very well may be the next stage of cuisine
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing but a great book!!!!!! Aug. 13 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
the condition of the book was great, only a little scuff on the back side, other than that all good.
Thank you very much......
Marko Nizic
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  41 reviews
79 of 84 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book about a unique place, difficult to find ingredients Oct. 17 2012
By Naomi Manygoats - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Faviken is a beautiful book about the very unique cuisine served at the remote restaurant of the same name in Sweden. Most of the book consists of text explaining the restaurant, about the meat, fish, and plants used. there are gorgeous pictures as well throughout the book. I appreciate the authors efforts in capturing the unique use of local, sustainable food, and think this would be inspiring to others around the world to do similar things.

As a cookbook however that Americans might want to cook from, even professionally trained chefs will have a problem with it. Not because the ingredients that do have units are given in metric (80g dry-aged blade of beef, cut into a loin), but because the ingredients themselves would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for most cooks to track down.

Here are some recipes from the book:
'A tiny slice of top blade from a retired dairy cow, dry aged for nine months, crispy reindeer lichen, fermented green gooseberries, fennel salt'
'Thrush with drying mushrooms, fresh cucumber, fermented fennel and cottage cheese'
Hazelhen, fresh lingonberries, which calls for '3 perfectly shot and matured hazelhens, taken out of the fridge plenty of time in advance, hearts and livers reserved' as well as '6 handfuls very fresh lingonberries, attached with some of the tiny leaves (not the big woody ones).

I started to rather desperately turn to the root vegetables section for something I could cook, and found general methods of preserving them, and the same for vegetables. Recipes in the vegetable section include 'Fermented juice of mushrooms and oats' and 'Vegetables cooked with autumn leaves', both leaves from this year and last year.

So while it is a beautiful book to read and look at, and I am sure dining at the restaurant would be amazing, I doubt that I will ever cook from it. I don't think there is a single recipe I want to jump in the kitchen and make. I would have to do too many substitutions. Still, it is going to be a good historical book documenting very local foraging and game that will no doubt inspire others.
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My mind is blown! Oct. 22 2012
By Heather F. - Published on Amazon.com
I am not the type to write a review of a cook book, not having cooked anything from it...or give it 5 stars, but it is almost impossible to cook any recipe in this book. That doesn't mean it isn't a worthwhile read. I was stunned and amazed at the ideas here. I fancy myself a locavore, but this goes beyond what the average person can do to eat locally...mostly because of where the author lives and the access he has to these unique ingredients and the ability to do his own aging and butchering.

There are things in this book I could never conceive of. There is a recipe for a dish called Kalvdans, and the primary ingredient is a cow's colostrum. Yes...colostrum. He uses pig's blood to make little bowls and turnip leaves that "have never seen the light of day". To make the broth of autumn leaves, you've really got to think ahead...you need some leaves from the current autumn as well as some from last autumn. His ideas and recipes are astounding and beautiful.

So, this is not a cookbook to actually cook from. But, that doesn't mean you shouldn't get it...just don't buy it as a cook book, buy it for the story it tells. It is a new way of thinking about food. It gives you an amazing glimpse of a completely foreign way of life and way of eating. It makes you rethink why we raise and process and then eat products the way we currently do. The author has a love and respect of where food comes from and it really gets you thinking about how things maybe should be different. There's sections on how to butcher...everything. He even teaches you how to properly peel a carrot. In short, this book is magical.

Now...where do you think I can pick up some "perfectly matured grouse, innards reserved"...
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Nov. 14 2012
By KaytiAnne - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
No, I likely will never cure my own vinegar in a hollowed out birch stump, or learn the Japanese method of butchering whole fish before fermenting them. But the thing that is most stunning about this book is the cooking philosophy shared by Magnus Nilsson. Don't buy this as a cookbook, unless you are a serious cook- he is sharing all his secrets! Buy it for the myriad tips, tricks, and epiphanies you will discover about flavor and sourcing ingredients.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faviken Jan. 7 2013
By corwin - Published on Amazon.com
Fäviken is a singular restaurant located in the isolated, little known region of Jämtland, Sweden. Fäviken has a dedicated, local/seasonal approach to every aspect of production and cooking of food. The extreme weather in the region acts not as constraint but as a collaborative element that produces innovation and imaginative food. This demanding dialogue with the land is fore grounded in the dishes, service and overall ethos of Fäviken. Chef Magnus Nilsson questions the nature of the relationship between food production and ambitious cooking and how this dynamic can form a completely new yet developed cuisine.

The book Fäviken, published by Phaidon has done a fantastic job recreating every aspect of the restaurant's life. In a series of introductions where the personality of Magnus Nillson is introduced as well has his own writing; some of the central themes are presented. The essay, "A Wednesday at Faviken- how the restaurant works," uses a precise but candid tone that gives you a point of view perspective on what goes into a single nights service. Sections on meat, fish, plants and dairy break down the idiosyncratic methods used at Faviken. At the end of each section are the recipes. Nilsson's recipes are constructed more as narratives than as precise instructions on how to cook each dish. As he articulates how each dish developed into its current state it becomes clear that change is never forced but a product of necessity, a dish may evolve slowly, quickly change, or stay the same over the course of a season. Nilsson's humble relationship to each ingredient also shines through. He treats every product used in the restaurant as ends unto themselves, not vehicles for the chef's artistry. A good example is his, "Scallops cooked over burning juniper branches," where nothing is used in the dish besides perfect scallops and perfect cooking, no seasoning, no sauce, only the ingredient elevated to its full potential. There is nothing extraneous in any of the dishes, no dripping of brightly colored sauces or abstract plating strategies because for Nilsson, that would only further remove the ingredients from their place in the world, just outside the doors of the restaurant.

There are many practical skills to take out of the book as well. From making lighter broths, diverse preserving techniques, even the simple realization that all ingredients cook evenly if at room temperature, to the whimsical approach of maturing vinegar in a burnt-out trunk of a spruce tree, Nilsson's imagination is irresistible. The urge to incorporate some element of the hyper-local/backyard/foraging sensibility into every thing you make will take hold. Juniper needles will end up in your mushroom sauce, you will be steeping autumn leaves in a tea pot, cooking a simple cut of meat becomes much more involved and you are constantly scanning the forest floor for treats. In the introduction Mattias Kroon writes, " For me, the greatest achievement here is the invention of a style of cooking...If Magnus can do it at Faviken then someone can reinvent cuisine on a mountain in Siberia, or in a valley in Bulgaria, or on the coastline of the Seychelles, and on top of one of the stone sculptures on the Easter Islands..." Through Faviken and Mangus Nilsson we learn that new, regional cuisine, can only achieve its full expression by looking intently within its own structures and traditions. Structures and traditions we all have, that are all around us, if we would only notice them.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice book to read when you are home sick (yes, I'm Swedish). Dec 19 2012
By Saelj A Nilsson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book to read for entertainment and help me with some homesickness. The photos are beautiful and reminds me very much of home. The recipes are interesting to read, but probably not something I'll ever make as a home cook, except some of the condiments that would be easy enough to make. It is fun to see what people are paying a lot of money to go and visit in an isolated place and how this small place could make it to the top in the very competitive restaurant world.
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